Online CVs – What Everybody Should Know About Posting CVs Online

Online CVs – What Everybody Should Know About Posting CVs Online

Job hunters are being warned to obtain their CVs online after experts showed how freely people proportion their resumes with strangers, effectively handing over all the information criminals need to steal their identity.

In a recent controlled experiment, a job advert for a fictional company was placed in a national newspaper, inviting people to apply by emailing their CV online. Anyone carrying out a simple web search for the company – ‘Denis Atlas’, an anagram of ‘steal an id’ – would have found a website telling them the company was fake. In just one week, 107 CVs were received in response to the job advert. The great majority of the CVs contained enough information for an identity theft to occur. 

Reformed identity theft criminal, Bob Turney, said: ‘Whilst many people now ordinarily shred things like bank statements and utility bills, they nevertheless seem happy to send their CVs to complete strangers. They need to realise just how easy it is to use the information in a CV to set up a bank account or take out a credit card fraudulently.’

Typically, criminals need just three out of fifteen meaningful pieces of information to commit identity fraud – the average CV received as part of the experiment contained eight pieces of information. 61 CVs (57%) included a date of birth, despite this no longer being a requirement due to age discrimination laws, and 98 (91.5%) included a complete address. A further 20 (19%) put others at risk by providing complete details of references. One already included the applicant’s passport number and national insurance details.

Hosting your CV securely on the Internet using a reputable online CV provider can be much safer than posting or emailing a traditional information document. Once you post or email a traditional CV, you have very little control over it. There’s nothing to stop someone photocopying it or sending it on to others.

Choosing a reputable provider is crucial when placing your CV online. There are many people who just place their CV online in an unsecured manner – for example by setting up their own simple webpage. This can expose them to identity fraud. Stick to the established providers who invest in security and processes to protect your information online.

Advice on protecting yourself against ID theft when job hunting:

o    Be cautious if the email address does not contain the name of the company but just the name of a service provider.

o    Take additional care accessing personal information when using public computers, such as those in internet cafes, or when using a laptop in a WiFi hotspot.

o    Shred or destroy old copies of your CV.

o    If you are using an online CV service, be sure that it safeguards your personal details.

o    Ideally, use a phone masking service to protect your personal number.

Think about who you proportion your career information with, make sure they are a real business and when posting your information to the web or on a job board database, remember to use an Internet Safe CV:

o    Do not include your date of birth

o    Do not include your marital position

o    Do not include your place of birth

o    Only give your first and last name

Think about the information a possible employer needs to find your details, you can proportion your complete CV at a later stage when you are comfortable with the identity of the company or person you are sharing the information with.

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